- April 11, 2023
The commemoration ceremony that was held at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. featured the following speakers:
- H.E MATHILDE MUKANTABANA: Ambassador of Rwanda to the USA, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico
- HON. MOLLY PHEE: Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, US Department of State
- HON. ANGELA ROMERO: Democratic Leader, Utah House of Representatives
- MR. JASON NSHIMYE: President of IBUKA-USA
- MS. CONSOLEE NISHIMWE: Author of ‘Tested to The Limit’
- PROF. FIACRE BIENVENU: Scholar of post-conflict identity formation & ethnicity politics
Ms. Consolee Nishimwe, a survivor of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and author of “Tested To The Limit” bravely recounted her testimony and her determination to preserve memory: ‘It’s not easy as a survivor to share your testimony but it is important, it’s part of making sure what happened is not forgotten.’
Ambassador of Rwanda in Washington D.C Hon. Mathilde Mukantabana reflected on how sharing the story of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi is a solemn task that Rwandans and the world owe to the survivors of the tragedy: ‘Our solemn task is to speak plainly about what happened in 1994 and to counter efforts to obscure or distort this history. We owe this to victims and survivors, of course — but it is no less an obligation to generations yet to be born,’.
In her remarks, Amb Mathilde emphasized that though the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi may have shocked the world in its scale and ferocity, was not a sudden or unpredictable atrocity: ‘The specter of Genocide hung over Rwanda for many years before April 7, 1994.’
Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of African Affairs, Hon. Molly Phee reaffirmed US Government support for Rwandans in their continued efforts for unity and renewal: ‘We oppose any attempt to misrepresent the historical record for political purposes.’
Mr. Jason Nshimye, President of the Umbrella of the Survivors of the 1994 Genocide Against Tutsi, US Chapter, stressed the importance of unity. He affirmed that Rwandans will never allow those who sow division, stating: ‘We are united, we remember, we will never forget, we learned from our history, it will never happen to us again.’
Browse the event photo gallery here
Prof. Fiacre Bienvenu, a scholar of post-conflict identity formation and ethnicity politics provided insights into the causes and systematic planning of the 1994 Genocide Against Tutsi. He discussed how gender was used as a propaganda tool, particularly against Tutsi women.”
As the world joins Rwandans in mourning the innocent lives lost during this tragic event, Rwandan communities in the US will continue to hold similar events in various states.